DESIGN MYTHBUSTERS

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by Lynn Fenwick B.I.D.

The other day I was talking to a friend who kept calling me a decorator, which every time I politely corrected to "designer." I think I can speak for most designers when I say that being called a "decorator" pushes some kind of button. After these repeated corrections this friend began to get a bit annoyed with me, saying, "oh whatever – decorator, designer, it’s the same thing." It was then that I realized how many myths there are about interior designers and how many people don’t really know what we do. I would love to share with you some myths about designers that I would like to bust!

DESIGNERS JUST DECORATE AND PLAY WITH PAINT AND FABRIC SWATCHES

Of course we do more than just decorate and play with colour swatches - a great misconception. To sum it up, decorators enhance space, whereas designers create space. Interior designers usually have a degree in interior design and have gone through rigorous training on spatial awareness, spatial planning, human behaviour, material studies, art studies, structural studies, and so much more. You can look at us as a bank of design knowledge. We don't just decorate and pick paint colour - this is just a portion of the many facets of work that we do. We create floor plans, elevations and detail drawings. We select materials that cohesively work together to become one palette, which we compliment with beautiful fixtures and details. Essentially, designers bring together the technical expertise and a comprehensive understanding of design to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces. Our main objective is to create spaces that look beautiful but also facilitate our client's everyday lives.

DESIGNERS ARE RIGID AND UPTIGHT

I think people have an image of a designer coming into their home and telling them they might as well move because there is no hope for their space. Almost every home I have been to, the client apologises for the look of their home. First of all, if your home was perfect, why would you hire us? Second, we are not there to criticize your home, we are there to make your life better. We do take our work seriously and may be meticulous with our design, but that is because we want the best possible outcome for your project!

More than anything, we want our clients to have an enjoyable experience with the design of their home. We know how stressful it can be to make such big and expensive decisions - so we try to have as much fun possible with our clients!

DESIGNERS ARE UNAFFORDABLE

At Fenwick & Company, we can design for any budget and there is no project that is too small to ask for design help. We will happily do as much or as little as you would like - whether you just need help selecting paint colours for your house or suggestions on furniture and artwork placement to large scale projects such as designing the whole house from the ground up. A designer can keep you on budget and save you time and effort. We know where to go for resources for everything related to your project. This will save you endless amounts of time researching products, brands and prices. We also will wisely stretch your budget where less costly materials may be possible, saving you money on the overall project. We have connections to many vendors throughout the city to get you designer discounts on items that you want to purchase - that alone can pay for a portion of your designer fees!

THEY WON’T REFLECT MY TASTE

I think this may be the biggest myth out there. Our main goal with every project is to create a space that not only looks great but reflects your lifestyle and personal taste. Of course we add in our own design touches, but the root of the design will be custom tailored to what you like the best. That is what makes our job so exciting! If we only designed using our personal style for every project, our job would get so boring! The challenge is incorporating your likes and personal style into a design that looks crisp and clean and creates a space that is functional and beautiful to you! If we had a crystal ball or were mind readers you wouldn’t need to tell us what you like and don’t like. One of the prerequisites of working with us to define your space with your personality, is that you have to help us to understand your style. This means that we will give you homework! Bringing pictures of what you like to the initial consultation is more helpful than you realize. Like the cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words.

MY SMALL HOME ISN’T WORTHY OF DESIGN

At Fenwick and Company, we really do believe that every home is design worthy. Whether it is just to update the look, add more storage, or make the main living area more functional, good design will make your home work better for you. Your house should be a place that you love and feel comfortable and we won’t settle for you feeling anything less!

I CAN JUST DO IT MYSELF

While this may be true to a certain extent, there are many things that an interior designer will bring to the table that you wouldn’t exactly think about or otherwise consider. Designers will look at a space with a fresh approach, quite often totally different and refreshing to the client, giving you that WOW factor!! Designers can bring your design inspirations to life better than you could have imagined! We have a solid understanding of design principles and colour and can help you avoid mistakes that could potentially cost you more money in the long run. The biggest mistake that we see is when clients call us in panic mode after they have started a renovation without a proper plan. Buying plumbing fixtures or cabinets or even furniture that doesn’t fit can be very costly. A plan also helps with budgeting. Contractors can give you a much better estimate when you have a concrete plan.

Whether you are re-doing one room or your entire home, don’t hesitate to look at hiring a designer. We work with you and within your budget to design your dream space! Designing, redesigning, or renovating often involves a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Hiring a professional interior designer is the best way to ensure you get value for your investment. Contact us to get started on your next project!


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